China, Japan need mutually beneficial economic development

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has called for stronger and mutually beneficial economic cooperation with Japan prior to his upcoming visit.

Japan is China's third biggest trade partner and second largest source of foreign investment, while China is one of Japan's major trade partners and the country's largest provider of imported goods.

China-Japan trade volume had increased from 1.1 billion U.S. dollars in 1972, when the two countries normalized relations, to 207.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2006, said Wen.

In recent years, Japan has been seeing trade with China grow faster when its trade with other countries slackened.

The greater China region, including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, overtook the United States to become the largest trade partner of Japan in 2004.

Japan has poured a total of 58 billion U.S. dollars into investment into China, with direct investment last year at 4.6 billion U.S. dollars, a hefty increase from 170 million U.S. dollars in 1982.

More than 70 Japanese enterprises ranked among the world's top 500 have established companies in China.

More than 320 enterprises have moved into Japan, including major firms like Huawei and Haier. The amount of Chinese investment in Japan stood at 170 million U.S. dollars at the end of 2006.

Wen told journalists from Japan in Beijing on Wednesday that China took an open attitude towards conducting economic and trade cooperation with Japan as long as such cooperation is based on mutual benefit and equality.

He said the two countries would start a high-level economic dialogue mechanism during his visit.

Wen is to visit Japan from April 11 to 13, the first visit to Japan by a Chinese premier in seven years.

Source: Xinhua

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